Highlights of liveblogging, held up by a few technical issues…
Palin says to assess the economy, go to any youth soccer game and ask the parent on the sideline. “I betcha you’re going to hear some fear in that person’s voice… The barometer there is that . The federal government has not provided the necessary oversight.”
She mentions that McCain fought for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform — “He sounded that warning bell” — and that his colleague .
So far… who is this woman, and what did she do with the halting bundle of nerves who talked to Gibson and Couric?
When explaining that John McCain was referring to America’s workers when he said “the fundamentals of the economy are strong”, I think she actually worked in a wink.
She notes Obama has voted 96 percent of the time along party lines.
I could have done without her hits on “predator lenders”, accusing them of convincing Americans to buy a $300,000 when they could only afford $100,000.
The format is for no follow ups. It’s probably making the debate less risky for either candidate.
Biden repeatedly describes McCain’s reduction in the corporate tax rate as a tax cut for oil companies, as if they’re the only companies that get tax cuts. That’s like saying Obama would cut the taxes of child molesters and serial killers. If the FactCheck groups had consciences, they would point that sort of thing out.
“If that’s not the truth, then I don’t know what can be.” Considering Biden’s frequent stories of events that didn’t happen, that’s not the most thorough declaration.
Biden is less of a blowhard than I thought, but even less accurate than I expected.
Biden: “Drill we must, but it will take ten years to get that oil out.”
Palin says Biden has referred to offshore drilling as “raping” the outer continental shelf.
She refers to Biden’s comment on the rope line about clean coal. Biden says to look at his record, and says the comment on the rope line was taken out of context. Western Pennsylvania voters will have to decide for themselves…
The Mrs. just called, saying she thought Palin looks nervous. I’m not seeing that.
Ifill asks about same-sex benefits for couples, thirty-five minutes in. Swell, because, you know, there’s no war on terror going on, or economy grappling with the effects of globalization, or any one of a thousand other more pressing issues. Palin defines marriage as one man and one woman.
Biden, after insisting that gays would have all of the same rights as straights under the Constitution, says in the follow-up that he does not believe in gay marriage. Palin says she agrees.
Palin quotes Biden in criticizing Obama on voting against funding the war. It will be interesting to see how
Biden: “Barack Obama has a clear plan.”
On the charge of not funding the troops, Biden says John McCain voted the exact same way. I want to go back and check the record on that.
Biden: “John McCain voted to cut off funding for the troops.” This is going to be an interesting fact check. “He voted against the amendment because it had a timeline to end this war.” Well, that more or less self-refutes him; it’s not that McCain opposes funding the troops (a silly argument); it’s that he thinks a timeline, which he opposes, ought to be voted on separately. Attaching it to a funding bill is more of the nonsense we just saw on Capitol Hill.
Ifill’s question about diplomacy with Iran, like Lehrer’s last week, blurs the line between meetings at the presidential level without preconditions (as Obama pledged in the YouTube debate) and some low-level contacts, which we’re already doing. Also the premise of the question ignores the more fundamental point of what, precisely, we think we’re going to reach agreement on with Iran. They want nukes, we don’t want them to have them. Tough to split the difference.
Biden: “Obama did not say he would sit down with Ahmadinejad.” Yes, he did! Go back to the YouTube debate!
Biden charges that McCain would not meet with the government of Spain. He didn’t say that; he said he might not have a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero. Considering Zapatero’s past America-bashing on the Spanish campaign trail when it’s politically convenient, that’s an entirely reasonable position for an American president to have.
“Nobody in the Senate has been a better friend to Israel than Joe Biden.” Didn’t he threaten a total cutoff of aid in 1982?
Palin: “There have been huge blunders in this administration, just as there have been huge blunders in every administration.”
Biden cites the general in Afghanistan for saying the won’t work. You know, this general:
”I am more convinced than ever that the insurgency will not win in Afghanistan,” Army Gen. David D. McKiernan, commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force for the past four months, told Pentagon reporters.
Biden is touting military intervention in Sudan, a position that is not in line with Obama. I admire Biden’s dedication to this cause the face of opposition from the top of the ticket.
The guys who want us out of Iraq as quick as possible also want us in Sudan as quickly as possible.
Ifill does ask one good question, which is how a Biden administration would be different from an Obama administration. Biden artfully, and perhaps appropriately dodges, saying he would enact Obama’s policies. In the end, he doesn’t touch the heart of the question with a ten foot pole, and I can’t say I blame him.
Palin takes a similar tack, but adds she’s “going to keep pushing him on ANWR.” She segues to bringing some “main street Wasilla values to Washington D.C.”
Biden feels the need to bring up his hometown, and says that if you ask people in diners in Delaware if McCain is different from Bush, “the people in my neighborhood get it, they know they’ve gotten the short end.” He mentions Scranton.
Both share a laugh about previous comments about disinterest in the vice presidency.
Biden brags about never questioning another member’s motive during his years in the Senate. A shame he doesn’t believe in extending that courtesy to Judge Bork, Justice Thomas, Justice Roberts, Justice Alito, Vice President Cheney…
Palin pledges to be a fighter, and says that she and McCain will fight for the middle class. She quotes Reagan in noting that freedom is always one generation away from extinction. She closes with her signature line that there’s only one man in this race who has ever fought for you.